The Government Should Buy More Fuel-Efficient Trucks and Truck Tractors

EMD-80-27: Published: Feb 21, 1980. Publicly Released: Feb 21, 1980.

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In its continuing review of how Federal agencies have attempted to conserve energy, GAO surveyed the extent to which the Government was buying fuel-efficient commercial trucks and truck tractors. Currently, the Federal Government operates the largest fleet of commercial medium and heavy duty vehicles in the United States. Previous work indicated that the Government's use of fuel-efficient components and devices was lower than that of industry.

While all available fuel-efficient components could not be used on all vehicles, if each of the 30,000 trucks and truck tractors could be equipped with these components to increase the fuel efficiency by 20 percent, an estimated 220,000 barrels of oil could be saved annually. GAO identified 12 fuel-efficient components and determined the extent to which they were used in Government purchased truck tractors. Except for diesel engines, the use of these components was not widespread. Factors impeding the Government's use of these components include: current vehicle specifications preclude extensive use of fuel-efficient components and encourage use of nonfuel-efficient components; procurement practices need to be improved because agencies have not required the use of fuel-efficient components where appropriate; and procurement agencies are not fully aware of the benefits that could be obtained by using fuel-efficient components. Procurement of fuel-efficient components has not been emphasized by the General Services Administration (GSA) and the Army Tank-Automotive Materiel Readiness Command.

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